Update by Adam Brennecke, Executive Producer and Lead Programmer
This month we are knee-deep in the Vertical Slice phase and this will be the team's focus for the month of June. It's our way of proving that we are ready to jump forward into production and start making shippable content.
The Vertical Slice is just that, a cross section (think of it as a slice of bread cut out from the middle of a loaf) of the world of Project Eternity. At the end of this phase the game will be feature complete, and the content building portion of the team, including area designers, environment artists, and character artists can make shippable content now. Our Vertical Slice is eleven maps large; encompassing our village and dungeon from Prototype 2, and the dungeon and wilderness area from Prototype 1 (we call this area "The Valley of Hector" internally). The content from the prototypes are refactored to fit within the context of the world and overall story of the game. Feature-wise, we are targeting to have the majority of the world building tools complete and all of the character classes playable up to level five.
A Vertical Slice dungeon concept by Polina. Her paint-over will be used as reference for the polish pass.
Here are our current tasks that we are working on right now:
- Modeling Hide Armor for Male and Females - Hide armor has been challenging to model and texture with skin tinting because there's a lot of skin shown.
- Creating Orlan Heads - This includes modeling differences for the Wild and Hearth ethnicities.
- Polishing Prototype 2 Areas to "Beta" - Extra shine is put into the areas to make them feel more alive and varied.
- Creating the Vertical Slice Area Design Document - The designers are adding more content to the world and fleshing out the village with additional quests.
- Designing and Coding the Class Abilities for the Cipher and Chanter - The Cipher and his "focus" powered spells are working, and now Tim Cain is working out the Chanter phrase system.
- Coding up the Save/Load and the Persistence System - This entails saving and loading games, and making sure the current map state is preserved across area transitions.
- Wrapping up the Area Designer Toolbox - Doors, encounters, traps, triggers, loot, NPCs, and creatures can all be placed and manipulated through script.
Spells and Ability Audit
This morning Josh emailed me a list of working class abilities and spells. I'm excited to say that we have 54 abilities and 51 functioning spells as of today! Most of the spells are at the alpha stage, meaning another pass will be done at a later date to add visual effects and sound effects.
UI Version #2
Thanks to everyone who provided feedback on our UI mockups that Rob posted last week in Update #54. We loved everyone's proposed mockups and your discussions sparked some great ideas for the next iteration on the interface. We've already mocked up a new version that takes up less vertical space and is more compact overall. Once we feel it's ready to be critiqued, we will post it in a future update for more discussion.
That's it for this week. We'll be back in two weeks - we're off to E3 next week (and if you're a fan of South Park, keep an eye out for coverage on our Stick of Truth RPG)!